Hello, lovely Reader.
It is currently very late at night, and I am sitting in the L.A.B. (Library of Adventurous Books) with my trusty canine companion for company. It’s the sort of night where I look around and feel incredibly grateful to be surrounded by so many fantastic books. There are so many ideas here, so many amazing voices and new discoveries. I only hope I can inspire you to explore these great worlds-within-worlds yourself.
But I am getting a little ahead of myself! Tonight I am thinking about many things, but most of all, I am thinking about you.
It has occurred to me that many of you may not consider books to be very adventurous. By the end of this post, I hope you will see that the written word, in all its forms, is a mighty power, capable of administering comfort and hope just as much as it can present ultimate chaos to any way of life.
So what makes being involved with books such an adventure?
First of all, if you were to look up what an adventure is in a dictionary, you would probably notice that an adventure has some criteria that it must meet in order to be called as such.
Here’s what I mean:
1. Adventures Are Usually Exciting
Well, books are exciting! Ever wonder if you could translate ancient Egyptian heiroglyphs? What about building your own submarine? Want to paint like Da Vinci? Have you ever followed the path of the Holy Grail throughout history? Perhaps you really can save your marriage, learn a language, experience sublime connection with God, or even find a new sort of hero–not the type who slays dragons or travels to space. I’m talking about finding it within yourself to be the hero of your very own story. If that isn’t an exciting prospect, I don’t know what is!
There is a richness in experience that we are meant to explore within the written word.
Think about it: God could have done anything for Moses to become a leader, but what did he actually do with the 10 Commandments? Moses got them, and they were written down. They weren’t written down to be talked about. They were written because we were meant to read them!!
We’re meant to read! You’re meant to explore and expose yourself to new ideas that change your life as you move forward in it.
2. The Experiences Are Unusual
The L.A.B. is built on the premise that the world is good, and colorful, and diverse. This diversity is our wealth. We should celebrate it all! No one is going to interpret a book the same way you are. A book will not touch your life in the same way it does for your neighbor. This is a good thing, because we are not meant to all be the same.
NEVER command that a book impact your neighbor in exactly the way it does you.
Instead, celebrate that you have had different experiences. By creating your own book adventures, and by joining in with discussions in the adventures of others, you are creating a vast, rich life experience for yourself that is not limited by rules. It is only ever limited by the reach of your own imagination.
3. Adventures Are Often Dangerous
Here in the L.A.B., we deal with all kinds of danger. First, there is the obvious result of your world never again being the same after an adventure, no matter how small. And these books carry a ripple effect. You’ll see what I mean.
The other element of danger is something you must keep a secret. You see, when you experience many different written works and voices, you begin to get a taste of what is good and what is not. When you know what is good and what is not, no one else can trick you into buying something that is actually garbage.
No one else can trick you into thinking a certain way. No one can control a person who is willing to read, whether they are good at reading or not. An original thinker can never truly be a slave, because the mind of an adventurer can never be imprisoned.
Come and join the rest of us free folk. Encourage others to read books you haven’t. Let’s dig each other out of this rut society suffers from nowadays. We may go about it in different ways, but we can still all climb out of it together.
But we’ll leave the grammar snobs. I wonder how many of them it takes to change a light bulb…..
4. Adventures Are Ways to Encounter and Explore Unknown Territory.
How much could you develop if you didn’t have to spend all your time working for a living? How far could you go if you had never had that jealous boss tell you that you weren’t all that smart? Or how about that girls shouldn’t be educated? What might you have done if you’d had a teacher who actually wanted to teach you? Where would you be now if your time weren’t compromised, if your money weren’t compromised? Chances are, some version of these things happened to you, plus who knows what else.
Sometimes people are kind of dumb, and they judge the quality of other people based on whether or not that person has a degree from a university. Maybe someone told you that you were worth less because of this. Whatever messages have stopped you from exploring adventurous books, the L.A.B. has proven time and again that those messages were wrong. They were wrong, are still wrong, and are going to be just as wrong tomorrow.
Here is the truth: you are worthy of a good life. You are worthy of an education. I’m talking about a real education–the kind that builds things like hope and discernment. The kind of education that helps your mind mature, so that you can make great decisions. The kind of education that heals the whole psychology of Y-O-U. The kind of education that makes YOU responsible for your life, and no one else.
Maybe university isn’t for everyone. But books are. They are for you, and you should get to read them. Busy with work? Got a big family to contribute to? Healing from trauma or grieving from hardship? You still deserve a good life. Start with ONE page of ONE chapter of ONE book at a time! There will be something to make you think new thoughts, and dream new dreams, I’m sure of it!
It is in no way necessary to read about the adventures that come out of books in the L.A.B. You could really stop right at this post if you wanted to. Especially if you see, like I do, that books provide opportunities for new adventures everywhere. There is such a wealth of ideas, a person could be busy with them their whole lives long.
Maybe you’re ready for your own adventures! I say, go for it! Get curious! Start with a good book, and see where it takes you!
Be sure to come back for a visit, to tell the rest of us about it in the comments, won’t you?
Maggie o’the Valley